A Unique Virtual Immersive Experience 

As part of our 20th Anniversary, we wanted to create a virtual learning experience that supported members of our community to envision a better future and what we can do to help bring it into being. 

In a world that feels more polarised and fragmented than ever, it’s easy to feel powerless, like nothing we say or do can make a difference.   

With this in mind, we felt it important to remind everyone that we each have the agency to do something. We might not change the world in a day, and our impact might not be immediately visible, but, in time, it can compound and create a ripple effect. 

We encouraged participants to do this by considering what ‘assets’ they possess, what impact they want to create in the world, and what their desired future could look like, using a ‘rich picture’ drawing exercise as a central part of the experience. Participants were invited to put pen to paper and illustrate the better future they wanted to see in the world before thinking through how their skills, knowledge and insights could help achieve it. This allowed participants to get creative and go beyond the limitations and constrictions words can sometimes bring.  

They shared their drawings in small groups which offered the opportunity to get feedback and be inspired by others’ drawings. These interactions fostered connection, reflection and learning. 

Through this ‘virtual immersive experience’, we aimed to take participants on an experiential journey that provoked an emotional connection in a safe space where participants could connect with one another and engage in a deep and meaningful way.

Our Lead Facilitator, Sammy Njenga, shares his reflections:  

“When we started generating and working on the ideas for the session, we came up with giving the participants a kind of simulated immersion experience. We did not want the session to just be about reflecting on what were good experiences but we wanted people to ‘get immersed in them again’ albeit virtually in a short 2-hour session.  

Honestly, I didn’t know how it would work out. [But] the eagerness to network, to engage and to share was simply amazing. Many of the insights we got from drawing complex and messy situations as rich pictures and sharing them with others were very rich. There was also a great level of interest and commitment to see a better world guided by the elements of the North Star. 

In the breakaway sessions, there was tremendous respect and empathy for the experiences and reflections of others. There was also an acknowledgement that we were all looking at the same big puzzle of our global realities but from a different position in the room.  

The power of asking the right question was also demonstrated as people reflected on the sharing of others through some well thought through questions. And it was not about getting answers but rather journeying with the question. Many of the participants indicated how their view on the initial mess or challenge they had come with had changed and especially the need to be wary of simplistic and mechanistic quick-fix solutions.  

For me, the session lived out the truth that if we don’t understand how systems work, we create chaos through unintended consequences.     

The session was a good indicator that an immersion experience doesn’t need to be expensive or to even be an elaborate trip to exotic locations. It starts with being curious and willing to learn from another”.  

We’ve been using immersive experiences in our work over the past 20 years. Through our work with large global organizations and bringing teams together, we know that immersive learning experiences are powerful tools to engage learners on a deep, visceral level. They offer unparalleled benefits for learners, providing them with opportunities to expand their perspectives, enhance their skills, and drive meaningful change within their organisations. 

Some of the benefits of immersive learning experiences that we’ve seen are:  

  • They provide a truly experiential learning environment which deepens understanding, and empathy and enables learners to make more informed decisions as they navigate complex challenges 
  • The hands-on approach encourages participants to explore and consider new perspectives  
  • They offer a psychologically safe space to explore and experiment – as such, learning by doing, curiosity and open-mindedness become the status quo  

Integration of learning is a central part of immersive learning experiences. Therefore, an emphasis is placed on exploring and practicing new ways of doing things. This, in turn, enables participants to apply their newfound knowledge and skills to drive innovation, inspire teams and improve business outcomes over time.  

Perhaps most importantly, these types of learning experiences act as a catalyst for behaviour change. The focus is placed on developing the learner’s character and empowering them to embody the values they wish to instill in their organizations and lead by example in shaping a better future in the world. 

If you’re considering your next immersive learning experience for your organisation or simply curious to understand how these types of sessions can support your leaders and your organization, we’d love to support you! Take the first step towards transformative growth and contact us today to discover the power of immersive learning experiences.